Informal Assessment


Change is inevitable but sudden change or a much deviated change from the norm may cause panic to other people close to them; also domestic issues and marital issues are quite sensitive and spouses and children may be negatively affected by change of one member. There is therefore need to address any changes that occur in the family immediately. This does not mean one rushes to make decisions, but, a gradual diagnosis is required before taking any step.

In the case of Theresa and George the family is doing well until a point where Theresa changes as his husband George explains. George the father of two (L.B., 7, son and J.J., 3, daughter) has issues with his wife who he explains has changed for the worse and she might have transferred the stress to her three year old daughter who is autistic.


Types of informal assessments

As an expert an informal assessment of the family is more appropriate in view of the fact that it will try to find out the real problem and solve it from within, rather than applying formal strict measures that may complicate the issues (Neukrug, & Fawcett, 2010). Informal will follow criteria to the identified problems which will be solved procedurally to achieve the objectives or restoring peace and tranquility in George’s home. The informal assessment will seek to understand the cause of the problem, what started it, and how the family will be assisted; and this will help answer George’s questions “What do you think? Huh? What do you think is wrong here? What can I do? Can you help us to get normal again?”

The types of assessments will involve; whole group assessment; match up, individual informal assessment, and Bingo (Neukrug, & Fawcett, 2010). In the whole group assessment it will involve; thumbs up/down, every person’s response (EPR), Think – Pair – Share, and whip around. For individual informal assessment there will be interview for each of the family members, warm – up, exit cards and observations/listening. For bingo there will be thumbs up/down, every person’s response (EPR), Think – Pair – Share, and whip around interview for each of the family members, warm – up, exit cards and observations / listening. Bingo will acts as merger between the whole group assessment and individual informal assessment. Besides just seeing the family members physical examination of any psychological disorders is necessary which will help in solving the situation.

Thumbs up/down will ensure the family members agree to certain issues, tasks, accusations, or information according to how they understand them. Every person’s response will take into account answers to specific questions given to each family member in regard to the situation. In Think – pair – share the family members will share the information with me then share it with the group. Whip around will require the input all family members. This will involve random questions posed to the members and any of the members can answer the question at will; caution should be taken so that all members participate in the answering (Neukrug, & Fawcett, 2010).

Interviews will be a question and answer to each member separately to help understand the problem; this will help to discuss the situation and solution process. Warm up will include a simple related task to the problem and how the individual can solve it. This will help each member reflect to the real situation while referring to the ideal (Neukrug, & Fawcett, 2010). Exit cards will be to issue tasks to the members differently and gauge their understanding of the problem reviewing these cards will help one identified the bone of contention and solve the problem. One can also opt to observe or listen in to the members as they interact.

Family Members and the assessment

George has already given his side of the story and this is only one voice from a crowd. To establish the real problem each member of the family must give an account of the situation and whether there is a problem or not. Theresa also needs to give her side of the story and explain the situation to establish whether George is just panicking or there is a problem, the best will be the individual assessment of the interview and observation. Theresa’s view will help in consolidating the case since she is the main blame of the problem by the husband.

The husband has already accused her of being nuts, insatiable (I work hard and bring the entire check home for food and taking care of the house and all, but that woman is not okay about anything. What should I do?), lazy (I thought she’d be working again by now and the baby would be more grown up by now. Something just isn’t right here), and not herself (Now she is just not herself. I say “What’s wrong with J.J., Teresa?” And Teresa just cries. She wanted a girl baby and she was so happy. Now nothing seems good anymore). Theresa is the key source of information since her husband accuses her of being the root cause of the change.

L.B. the seven year old son and J.J. the three year old daughter also need to be interviewed and observed. Children are so open and they give the correct information when one is friendly. Befriending the children will make them admit the real problem and how it happened. L.B. will account how his father has been since he spends most of his time with him while J.J. will account for her mother’s deeds. They need to be seen since they are also affected such that J.J. is already autistic and needs special services to help her overcome the condition.

Autism is a neural development disorder that is caused by poor social interactions, restricted behavior, poor communication, and repetitive behavior. This condition distress information development in the brain by affecting how nerves synapse, connections and organization. The child’s condition should be checked before it gets complicated.  J.J. also has problems with her development in that George says “Their 3 year old will not talk yet and has trouble with most activities of daily living.” This is why the children need to be observed.

Theresa’s sister who babysits J.J. also needs to be seen and interviewed since she will help one understand why J.J. is suffering in that she spends most of her time babysitting her. She will explain what she does, dislikes, behaves, copes with others, and relationships with others. George’s mom will also be interviewed since she babysits L.B. after school. L.B. may have told her about any incidents at home that may be the cause of the stress and she might also have observed the problem in the family; this is so because George explains that “My mom is real good with kids and watches him until I pick him up at night.” After seeing each person individually there will be need for a think- pair-share session for the family members that will enable each person realize the impacts of the situation.

Why interview and observation

Choosing interview for most of the members is best since every one will give a personal side of the story which will help one understand what the real problem is. This will be better than combining the members together where others may be shy, fearful, or intimidated to speak out. For J.J. observing her would only be best since she is not speaking and is already autistic.

After each member gives a personal understanding to the saga one will be able to mend the pieces and give a better solution to the situation. A diagnosis that is correct is all that is needed before solving any situation and in this will be achieved through interviewing each member. Incase any problem is found to be psychological in any one of them i.e. Theresa or George proper procedure will be advised so that they can save their family more trouble.

Ethical considerations

When working with the family members one has the duty to follow set values, ethics, and principles. The core values include; being discrete with information, effective service, integrity, competence, dignity, and the importance of human being relationships (Adler, & Rodman, 2009). The principles include; service, seek to challenge social injustices, respect and maintain the dignity and worth of every individual, seek to establish the importance of people’s relationships, be trustworthy at all times, and always practice the expected level of competence in the field (Thompson, & Campling, 2003).

One must be self determined towards the rights of the people, committed to the well being of individuals, always make informed choices in the field and be understood by the recipients, must be aware of the social and cultural diversity of the people one is working for, at all times avoid conflicts of interests; never take undue advantage over the people, always practice privacy and confidentiality on any information from the people, provide information and true records of the happenings in the family. One must also avoid discriminating; one should never facilitate, condone, or assist in any form of discrimination on the basis of race, religion, status, gender, colour, political affiliations, race, ethnicity, or disability in making the choices (Thompson, & Campling, 2003).


Professionalism will be seen when solutions are solved and for Theresa, George and the family members a lasting solutions to their problem is achievable by making the right informed choices. This case study helps us apply the informal assessment and in reality realize that they are effective in solving social problems. Whatever the case to be handled being sober and giving everyone a chance to speak out will ensure there is an inclusive understanding of the problem thus aid in making a lasting mutual solution.

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